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Telstra shares hit four year high


Telstra shares hit $4 for the first time in four years as the telco starts to benefit from its recent involvement with the national broadband network (NBN) and growth in its mobile and broadband businesses.

Shares in Telstra hit an intra-day high of $4 on Monday, akin to levels in 2008 when it was excluded from a federal government tender to build the NBN.

Telstra shares closed at $3.98, up two cents, or 0.51 per cent.

Fat Prophets senior analyst Greg Fraser said the increase in the share price could be partly attributed to Telstra announcing earlier this year that it planned to work with NBN Co and had agreed to structural changes.

"It's been a major turning point. It's taken away the regulatory uncertainty and given a degree of certainty with cash flow as customers migrate to the NBN," Mr Fraser said.

He said the telco's excess cash flow and solid growth in its mobile and broadband businesses could also have contributed to the share price hike.

"We've also got the fact that the market knows there's excess cash flow being generated from the business and we have the promise of the 28 cent dividend not only this year, but next," Mr Fraser said.

The news came as Telstra chief executive officer David Thodey told a business lunch in Sydney that the company would be focusing on its digital platforms as customers' needs changed.

Mr Thodey said Telstra's mobile network was growing at a rate of 100 per cent a year and the telco was also aiming to increase its online communication with customers from its current 30 per cent to 50 per cent.

The telco was increasingly focusing on mobile phone apps as a way of reaching customers, he said.

"These apps are taking on enormous momentum so its very important that we think about different ways of interacting with our customers," he said.

Mr Thodey said Australia was known as an early adopter of technology but also needed to lead the way in innovation.

He said while the mining sector was currently a source of wealth, it was not necessarily sustainable in the long term and Australia needed to focus more on technology.

"We have an incredible opportunity to change that focus to become a clever country and I think we really need to do it," he said.

Mr Thodey announced that former chief operating officer of The Australian newspaper, John Allan, has been appointed the new boss of Telstra's advertising and directories arm, Sensis.